Virginie’s recent post has me thinking about the 5 R (Refuse (flyers, etc), Reuse (mug), Reduce (clothes consumption), Recycle (trade old clothes or turn them into bags), and Rot (compost). There is a 6 sigma process to manufacturing so why not a 5 R process for re-envision the post consumption process? One interesting and honorable part of Captain Bruce’s time and land are his efforts to support the people of Haiti. Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere and its lack of healthcare infrastructure,food insecurity and high population density make it highly susceptible to the consequences of the current viral pandemic. These people are truly poor. The charity has many facets and the charities efforts to help bring food, water and medical supplies to Haiti are discussed here http://www.friendsofileavachehaiti.com/. The focus of this Blog post, however will be his efforts to recycle and reuse old sails.
The captain has assembled a small network of people who collect sails and give them to Bruce to hold onto until they can be delivered to Haiti. There is a shed full of donated sails at his place in Ontario. Last fall we loaded up around 60 of these sails and sent them aboard the Ketch Tandameer to Ile a Vache, Haiti.
The Captain also bought an old foot powered sewing machine and paid to have it totally restored. We carefully packed this beautiful antique to be sent along with the sails. Human power has long been more reliable than the electrical grid in developing countries.
Why is this so important? Before these used sails were available the Haitian sailors would use whatever they could find in order to be able to fish to feed their families. The cotton of plastic sheets (for example tarps) they were using were prone to failing at sea, leaving them adrift and at the mercy of the sea. Dacron sails are much stronger and last far longer than the material they could repurpose for their fishing efforts. These efforts are saving lives and enabling Haitians to obtain food for their families. Additional photos and stories of the end products of the charity’s work can be found here http://www.friendsofileavachehaiti.com/used-sails.html.
As the United Nations pulls out of Haiti the country is in need more than ever and donations are needed. Normally a good portion of small but meaningful donations come from patrons of the hair salon run by the treasurer Bonnie, but that has been closed due to the Covid outbreak. Every penny that you donate to The Friends of Ile a Vache Haiti charity goes directly to people in our hemisphere in need. It is truly an all volunteer effort. Despite the hardships of living in Haiti a smile come readily to the faces of its people.
If you are feeling generous or motivated by the pictures, I encourage you to donate. A link to their donation page can be found here http://www.friendsofileavachehaiti.com/donate.html